The Right To Self-Defense In Ohio. Part IV: The Defense Of Others

The Right To Self-Defense In Ohio.  Part IV:  The Defense Of Others

By James Owen, Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer

If a person believes that a family member or other person, even a stranger,  is in imminent danger of bodily harm, then that person may use reasonably necessary force to defend that other person, to the same extent that the other person would be entitled to act in self-defense.  See State v. Williford, 49 Ohio St. 3d 247 (1990).  In some states the defense of self-defense is limited to the person at risk or to his immediately family.  This is not the law in Ohio.  In Ohio, the defense applies whenever an accused renders assistance to a third person, even a stranger.  However, the right to defend the third person is limited to situations where the person being aided also had the right to use force to defend himself.

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